I wish someone had said this to me before it was too late.
I learned a lot of things the hard way, the painful way. I could've saved myself an ocean of tears and a lot of bumps and bruises if someone had told me what I'm about to tell you.
Don't get me wrong--lots of people did try to help me along the way. In addition to the people who were actually in my life, I learned from the authors of the nearly 3,000 books I've read. I love learning from people who have taken the time to write what they know for sure. I've absorbed it like a sponge.
And now I want to share what I've learned about finding and fulfilling our unique life assignments, and thereby creating personal and professional success. Real success. Not what the world calls success.
Hollywood would have us believe that fame and millions of twitter followers is success. Wall Street would have us believe that millions (and billions) of dollars is success. Fashion designers would have us believe that wearing ridiculously overpriced clothes, shoes, and handbags that will not be in style 3 months from now is success. Nope. Nope. Nope.
Authentic success has 5 facets, one without the others is not genuine success.
1. The first is healthy relationships with good people. If you have all the money and all the social media followers, and have no one to call at 3 a.m. when you're in trouble, you don't have real success.
2. The second is good health. If you have lots of good relationships and truckloads of money, but you're physically, mentally, and emotionally unwell, you can't fully enjoy all that you have.
3. The third is peace. Peace doesn't mean that everything is perfect, and nothing ever goes wrong or gets chaotic. But when you have peace inside of you, it keeps you steady throughout challenges, crisis, and tragedy
4. The fourth is joy, which is much more than happiness. Happiness depends on external circumstances, but joy is internal. We've all had the experience of feeling happy but then something happens, like someone short-changing you or cutting you off in traffic, and you're instantly not happy anymore. Joy, on the other hand, inexplicably helps you smile through the toughest of times.
5. The fifth facet of real success is enough financial provision to do what you were meant to do. Lots of people spend their whole lives striving to make money, often at the cost of their relationships. What they don't know is that you can have a billion dollars in cash and not be truly successful, because if you don't have healthy relationships with people you can trust, good health, peace, and joy, all the money in the world won't fix what's wrong and fill what's missing.
So, there you have it. Success is not having the biggest house, the newest car, or the most friends. It is not climbing the corporate ladder to the C-suite or building a profitable company. Success is not being with the in-crowd because that crowd could be gone this time next year. Real success is having a balanced measure of all five of these priceless things. When you have these, you have everything.
Rhonda Sciortino, author of 30 Days To Happiness (featured on Ellen DeGeneres' show and included in her Kind Box), used the coping skills acquired throughout a chaotic and abusive childhood to create personal and professional success. Through her speaking, writing, podcast, media appearances, and videos she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to a their real success.